DETROIT TIGERS THIRD baseman Miguel Cabrera became Major League Baseball’s first Triple Crown winner in 45 years on Wednesday, capping a brilliant season in which he hit 44 home runs.
The 29-year-old Cabrera also finished with a batting average of .330 and 139 RBI as he led the American League in all three categories and placed first in both leagues in home runs and RBI.
It’s just the 14th time in American baseball history a player has accomplished the feat.
“It’s really an unbelievable feeling right now,” Cabrera said.
“To be out here everyday and do my job is great, but winning this feels good. I don’t know how to explain it, all I wanted to do was focus on winning games and doing the best I could.”
Cabrera became the first player to take home the Triple Crown since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967 with the Boston Red Sox.
Meanwhile, the Oakland A’s completed a stunning comeback against Texas to clinch the American League West championship in remarkable fashion.
Oakland, who were a whopping 13 games behind the Rangers on 30 June, stormed home in the second half of the season to reign supreme in their division for the first time since 2006.
The A’s incredible revival was capped off on Wednesday when they beat the Rangers 12-5 after overturning a four-run deficit (5-1) at the end of the third inning.
Both teams headed into the match with a 93-68 win-loss record, knowing a victory would deliver the AL West crown.
And thanks to a six-run fourth inning, punctuated by a key Josh Hamilton error, Oakland made sure of their success before adding icing on the cake with another four runs in the eighth.
The New York Yankees edged the Baltimore Orioles in the race for the AL East title with a 14-2 thumping of the Boston Red Sox.
There was little between the Yankees (94-67) and Orioles (93-68) heading into their final matches, but Baltimore ensured they wouldn’t usurp New York with a 4-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Yankees now head to the postseason as the AL East champs and will have home-field advantage throughout the AL playoffs. They will face the winner of the one-off wildcard playoff match between the Rangers and the Orioles while the A’s and the Tigers will battle it out in the other AL Divisional playoff series.
In the National League Divisional Series, Washington will meet the winner of the Braves-Cardinals wildcard playoff while the Cincinnati Reds and the San Francisco Giants will do battle for the right to play in the NL Championship Series.
– Additional reporting by TheScore team